philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Virtual reality goes magnetic – International research team develops electronic ‘skin’

180119190403_1_540x360Physicists have now developed an ultrathin electronic magnetic sensor that can be worn on skin. Just by interacting with magnetic fields, the device enables a touchless manipulation of virtual and physical objects.

At first glance, the shiny little gold elements look like a modern tattoo. But on this extremely thin, almost invisible foil that sticks to the palm of the hand like a second skin, there are sensors which provide people with a "sixth sense" for magnetic fields.

See the full story here:

and the technical source story here:

Magnetosensitive e-skins with directional perception for augmented reality

VR Has Its Pixar Moment With Adaptation Of Neil Gaiman’s ‘Wolves In The Walls’ As Part Of Sundance Slate

attic_04-copyDirector Pete Billington says Lucy’s character builds on work that Oculus Story Studio did on the Emmy-winning Henry, which invited viewers to connect with an anthropomorphic hedgehog.

“In the middle of Henry we did this thing, we had the character make eye contact with the audience,” said Billington. “It gave us all the chills. ‘Wow a character just acknowledged our presence.’ It was powerful.”

At the same time, Billington said, the team knew Oculus was developing touch controllers that would give viewers the ability to use their hands in a virtual environment.

“We walked out of that thing saying ‘OK, this is exactly what we want to do. How do we do it?’ ” said Billington. “A live actor can improvise. We have a virtual actor.”

There’s a moment in the early minutes of the first chapter where Lucy begins to sketch out a chalk drawing on the floor, and the viewer feels compelled to squat down next to her, to watch. In another scene, Lucy hands the viewer a Polaroid — which the viewer can hardly resist the urge to accept.

“All those interactions are completely intentional,” said Billington.

“A camera can only do so much,” said Puran. “But taking that information and computationally creating new worlds and places that are only imagined in our heads, to become a fourth dimension of reality, that’s mind-blowing and exciting.”

See the full story here:


Sundance panel tackles future of VR in entertainment

1671785027-2 fbb2a94491Award-winning filmmaker Eliza McNitt premiered her new VR series, “SPHERES: Songs of Spacetime” on Friday at the festival. The 13-minute film is an entirely VR, immersive experience of two black holes colliding in space. Narrated by Jessica Chastain, the film makes the viewer feel like they are floating in space, completely surrounded by exploding stars and bending light.

However, one issue with making movies a VR experience is not only the lack of proper equipment in theaters, but because we are also “bumping up against the limits of what computing can do,” Schilowitz said.

“How do you break beyond the flat screen to include temperature, wind and smells?” said Diego Prilusky, head of Intel’s new studio division.

When asked what Adobe is currently working on to help further the tech for VR and immersive content, Bobotis said he couldn’t say, but that there would likely be two big releases later this year — with one announcement expected at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in April and another at the Adobe MAX Creativity Conference in October.

See the full story here:


Sundance: Felix & Paul Debut Space Explorers VR Series

SpaceExplorers_5Felix & Paul’s newest experience, Space Explorers: A New Dawn, premieres at the Sundance Film Festival New Frontier Exhibition this week. After the premiere, it will be available for free alongside its second chapter, Space Explorers: Taking Flight, with the launch of Oculus Go this year.

NASA’s Principal Virtual Reality Engineer and several astronauts shared with me how they are using VR to prepare for future explorations throughout our solar system.
Space Explorers: A New Dawn introduces visitors to NASA’s new generation of astronauts, Jessica Meir, Jeanette Epps and Victor Glover, the depths of what space exploration entails for them now, and the ambitious plans for the near future.

Lajeunesse shares that the second chapter, Space Explorers: Taking Flight, takes visitors on an exploration of “…the collaboration between NASA and private space companies such as Space X and Boeing, as well as the spirit of collaboration between the world’s national space programs.” Viewers visit Cape Canaveral, Russia and Kazakhstan, and also experience two up-close rocket launches.

Storytelling in VR not only takes you to new places, or allows you to be someone or something else, but it has the ability to give you experiences that enhance your life in a way that other mediums cannot do. The drivers of why we seek out immersive experiences hint at how essential great educational content is in driving VR adoption.

See the full story here:




20430587186_71d7544299_nImmersify, a European R&D consortium made up of the following partners: PSNC – Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (Poland), Spin Digital Video Technologies GmbH (Germany), Ars Electronica Futurelab (Austria), Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes (France) and Visualization Center C (Sweden). Immersify was set up in October 2017 and runs until March 2020. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 7620799.

Immersify Focuses on Four Points

Immersify is concentrating on four challenges. First of all, what’s needed is a new technology for the video compression of data, which is virtually exploding due to higher resolutions, frame rates and constantly improving image formats. Second, media players and formats should be able to support as many different technical environments and devices as possible. Third, creative individuals working with high-quality videos, CGI in 2D and 3D, as well as interactive elements ought to have the option of combining them with each other so that users are in a position to enjoy totally customized experiences. Fourth, Immersify is definitely not to be developed behind closed doors; rather, the intention is to present the ongoing progress of R&D in the form of demos at the Ars Electronica Festival and the Marché du Film in Cannes, where specially developed content and innovative market-oriented products will showcase Immersify’s creative and technical capabilities.

See the full story here:


Amazon Pushes Athletic Wear in Augmented Reality with Mo-Capped Fitness Models

giphy-2 giphy-3The retailer took a fairly unique approach with this new AR experience. Mission clothing was displayed on virtual animated fitness models, which users could place in their physical space. While the models performed their exercise routines, users were able to rotate through various Mission apparel styles and colors.

The AR content took shape via Groove Jones, a studio specializing in 360-degree video capture for virtual reality content. To create the experience, Groove Jones filmed fitness models with motion capture technology (see below) in order to construct the animated 3D models.

See the full story here:


Fable Studio: Oculus Story Studio Alumni Form New Studio to Push Boundaries of VR Storytelling & Affordability

derailed“Where we’re going is not VR movies anymore. It’s characters who live with us and who we believe in,” said studio co-founder Edward Saatchi, pointing towards the future of character-building.

Fable says all of its future projects will be paid experiences, something they hope will “kickstart a new phase in VR movies of charging for content and seeking to break even.” The studio will charge $1 for every 10 minutes of content, meaning a 20 minute experience would cost $2. Considering how arbitrary pricing seems to most people right now, setting a standard pricing model could give smaller studios incentive to start creating VR narratives.

Fable Studio’s Upcoming Projects


A group of artists work together to solve a virtual reality scavenger hunt to recover stolen art.


10 is an illustrative realtime documentary using Quill to explore a real life story.


A social virtual amusement park ride with the theme of sleep anxiety.

Magic River Yacht Club

The viewer follows a giant salmon and its crew up river as they compete in a 500 mile regatta.

See the full story here:


Inside ‘Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire’, the Latest VR Attraction from The VOID

The VOID’s Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire is a “hyper reality” VR attraction that places you inside the Star Wars universe. It uses virtual reality headsets, haptic feedback vests, real props, environmental haptics, and physical space to immerse guests in the world of Star Wars. The experience is now open to the public at The Void’s locations at Disney Springs in Orlando, FL, Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, CA, and Westfield London Mall in London, UK. The experience is identical across all three locations.

Once everyone is ready to roll you sit down in the next room, headsets on, and you and your squad are launched in a drop ship towards the volcanic planet of Mustafar.

Secrets of the Empire could have been a truly amazing and immersive experience if not for the poor positional tracking which, combined with the small, clunky spaces for four players, made it just alright.

see the full story here:


WEARVR LAUNCHES $10,000 VIRTUAL REALITY REMASTERED COMPETITION, the web's leading independent virtual reality app store, is launching a brand new competition aimed at seasoned virtual reality developers, which challenges them with updating their original Oculus Rift DK1 and DK2 demos, games and experiences and bringing them back for the latest Oculus headset.

The competition will also help to generate new revenue streams for VR developers who take part in Remastered, and have potentially never found a way to monetize their early, pioneering content.

  • Original content must have been made available for the Oculus DK1 and/or DK2.
  • Your Remastered Competition entry must work on the Oculus Rift CV1.
  • Your entry can also be remastered for the HTC Vive or other contemporary VR platforms as well, but must include the CV1.
  • The entry must include some manner of enhancement over the original (visuals, audio, controls, content, etc) that makes it contemporary with new releases on the Oculus platform.

See the full story here:


Nicolas Cage makes the leap to virtual reality in new movie movie, which is a near-future science fiction tale about global warming, will release "as a standalone episodic virtual reality series [called] The Humanity Bureau VRevolution," according to a report in Variety. It's just not clear what that means, exactly.

Producer Kevin DeWalt told the trade magazine that The Humanity Bureauwas shot in three formats: standard theatrical, "Barco Escape" theatrical (a gimmicky three-screen setup), and VR. His comment suggests that you'll be able to watch the full movie in VR, but that isn't quite it, apparently.

Variety notes that VRevolution is "based on" the main film, and that it "takes the user through alternative storylines that co-exist with the feature film, but can be viewed as standalone episodes."

See the full story here: